the tin badge
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The Tin Badge Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #13

To outshine his taunting siblings, Joe Cartwright takes on the role of sheriff in the quaint town of Rubicon. Unbeknownst to Joe, the masterminds behind his appointment, gunslinger Ab Brock (played by Vic Morrow) and corrupt Mayor Goshen (portrayed by John Litel), have sinister plans. They aim to manipulate the youngest Cartwright into becoming the scapegoat for a complex robbery and murder plot. Alongside Joe, the ensemble features Karen Steele as Sylvia Ann, Robert Fortier as Higgler, David Manley as Virgil, and Bill Catching as the Banker. Originally aired on December 17, 1961, The Tin Badge was penned by Don Ingalls.

Explore the storyline and intriguing behind-the-scenes facts, or watch the entire episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of The Tin Badge

Watch the Full Episode of The Tin Badge:

Main Cast

In addition to the primary cast, “The Tin Badge,” the thirteenth installment of Bonanza Season 3 showcases a variety of recurring and guest-supporting actors. The following individuals are prominently featured in the episode:

  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Vic Morrow as Ab Brock
  • Karen Steele as Sylvia Ann Goshen
  • John Litel as Mayor George Goshen
  • Robert Fortier as Higgler
  • David Manley as Virgil
  • Bill Catching as Banker
  • Stephen Chase as Mr. Jennings
  • Betty Endicott as Stage Passenger (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Stage Passenger (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Stableman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Tin Badge

Joe arrives in Rubicon, immediately feeling the weight of scrutiny upon him. His attempt to enter the saloon is obstructed by Higgler, who had been observing him. Higgler interrogates Joe about Sylvianne Goshen, the Mayor’s daughter, but Joe deflects, prompting Higgler to throw a punch. Undeterred, Joe retaliates, flooring Higgler until Sylvianne intervenes, taking Joe inside to tend to his injuries.

As Sylvianne tends to Joe in the saloon, the Mayor enters cheerfully with a companion, acknowledging the town’s gossip about Joe’s scuffle. The companion is introduced as Mr. Abe Brock, a prominent figure in the area known for his mining claims. Brock commends Joe’s handling of Higgler, expressing surprise and admiration. He suggests Joe might serve the town, especially since the sheriff is incapacitated and needs a temporary replacement. Despite Joe’s reservations about his youth, Brock and Sylvianne persuade him to consider the offer, citing civic duty.

Meanwhile, Higgler observes Joe’s departure from town with amusement.

Back home, Joe engages in a heated discussion with his father, Ben. Ben expresses his disapproval, citing their family’s hard work and non-violence values. Joe defends his desire for independence and resents being treated as the “baby” of the family by his older brothers, Hoss and Adam. Ben questions if becoming sheriff will truly resolve Joe’s frustrations.

Adam and Hoss return home, oblivious to the tension, and share jests about Joe’s endeavors in Rubicon. Ben reveals Joe’s offer of the sheriff position, leading to further mockery from his brothers. Feeling dismissed and belittled, Joe storms off, vindicated in his decision to accept the job offer despite his family’s ridicule.

Ben observes his sons’ laughter, thanking them for pushing Joe into a decision he didn’t endorse. Adam questions Joe’s desire for the sheriff position, which Ben confirms. Hoss dismisses Joe as “Little Joe,” while Adam labels him as just a kid. Ben challenges their perception, reminding them that Joe is maturing and has grown-up feelings and pride. Hoss suggests riding into Rubicon to aid Joe, but Ben insists Joe must confront his challenges, although he reassures his sons that they’ll support him if needed.

In Rubicon, Joe is greeted warmly by the Mayor and Brock. They discuss Joe’s commitment to the role, with Joe expressing concerns about Brock’s associates. The Mayor administers the oath of office, and Joe proudly accepts, pinning the tin badge to his chest.

The Mayor doubts Joe’s seriousness as they converse outside, but Brock remains confident. Two mysterious figures arrive in town, catching Joe’s attention as he strolls towards the saloon.

Inside, Joe encounters Sylvianne, who notices his new badge. They share a brief exchange, with Joe presenting her with a passage from Romeo and Juliet. Brock interrupts, questioning Joe’s understanding of his duties before Joe excuses himself to acquaint the town with its new sheriff.

In a private conversation, Sylvianne queries Brock’s motives. Brock reveals his plan to exploit Joe’s inexperience for a robbery scheme to regain his lost fortune. It’s disclosed that Sylvianne is engaged to Brock and has stood by him during his financial setbacks. Brock assures her that their future prosperity hinges on the impending robbery.

On his patrol through town, Joe notices Higgler near the livery stable and decides to extend an olive branch. Joe attempts to reconcile, but Higgler responds with hostility, leading to a physical altercation. Despite Joe’s efforts, Higgler gains the upper hand and viciously beats him. Joe, left with no choice, apprehends Higgler at gunpoint and locks him up.

While tending to his injuries, Joe questions Higgler about his employer, but Higgler remains tight-lipped. Joe leaves him in the cell, promising freedom in exchange for information.

Heading to the saloon, Joe confides in Sylvianne about the setup orchestrated by Brock. Their conversation is interrupted by a gunshot outside. Rushing to investigate, Joe discovers Higgler has escaped, casting doubt on Sylvianne’s innocence.

Sylvianne, realizing the danger, urges Joe to leave town, but he refuses, committed to his duty as sheriff. An argument ensues, with Sylvianne belittling Joe’s capabilities. Determined, Joe asserts his authority, vowing to see his responsibilities through.

Meanwhile, Brock chastises Higgler for returning to town, revealing his involvement in a deeper plot. As tensions rise, the undertakers are instructed to remove Higgler discreetly.

Sylvianne, troubled by her father’s evasiveness, confronts him about Higgler’s escape. Frustrated by his secrecy, she resolves to seek answers from Brock despite her father’s protests.

Joe strides into the saloon, confronting the Mayor for answers. Reluctantly, the Mayor leads Joe to a quieter spot to talk.
Meanwhile, Sylvianne interrupts Brock’s conversation with the undertaker, demanding clarity on the recent events. She confesses Joe’s inquiries about Higgler and the sheriff’s position, prompting Brock to question her responses. Sylvianne reveals her suspicions about Higgler’s escape and her uncertainty about Joe’s involvement. Brock admits to orchestrating Joe’s appointment and divulges his nefarious plans, including a staged accident to eliminate a potential threat. Sylvianne recoils at the notion of murder, but Brock justifies it as necessary for their future.

Downstairs, Sylvianne encounters Joe, who is taken aback by her sudden presence. Sylvianne, regretful of her earlier remarks, attempts to explain herself, but Joe remains skeptical. Pressing for answers, Joe learns the truth about Sylvianne’s relationship with Brock and his involvement in the scheme. Despite Sylvianne’s confession, Joe resolves to confront the danger alone, determined to prove himself beyond his family’s shadow.

As dawn approaches, Joe stands firm in his decision, unwilling to involve his family. Sylvianne pleads with him to reconsider, doubting his ability to face the impending threat alone. Joe remains resolute, prepared to confront the danger head-on as planned.

After Joe’s departure, Sylvianne remains in Brock’s room, pondering the day’s events. She notices Joe at the livery stable with Cochise and decides to take action.

At the saloon, the Mayor, drunk and alone, questions Sylvianne’s whereabouts. Unfazed, Sylvianne sneaks into the livery stable, saddles Cochise, and prepares to leave.

Meanwhile, at the sheriff’s office, the Mayor implores Joe to find Sylvianne, but Joe brushes off the responsibility, asserting his role as sheriff, not her guardian. Amused by the Mayor’s concerns, Joe decides to play along with the perception of his youth.

Later, at the saloon, Joe converses with Brock and the Mayor, expressing doubts about his ability to handle the sheriff’s duties. He recounts his frustrations, including losing Higgler and Sylvianne’s disappearance. Brock attempts to reassure Joe, urging him to search for Sylvianne. Reluctant but with no horse, Joe accepts Brock’s offer of a horse from the livery stable.

As Joe prepares to leave, Brock suggests he start his search immediately, but Joe insists on waiting until morning. Now more awake, the Mayor expresses concern for Sylvianne’s safety, but Joe remains determined to depart at dawn. Brock supports Joe’s decision, eager to see him leave town for safety.

Brock dismisses Sylvianne’s disappearance as she avoids witnessing the impending events, assuming she will return when everything is over.

Meanwhile, exhausted and desperate, Sylvianne arrives at the Ponderosa. She staggers to the porch and calls out for help. Hoss discovers her and inquires about Joe’s horse she rode in on. Weakly, she explains she needs to speak with Ben urgently. Hoss assists her inside, where Ben questions her about her presence and use of Joe’s horse. She reveals her identity as the daughter of the saloon owner in Rubicon and expresses urgency in speaking with Ben about Joe’s predicament. Ben presses for details, prompting Sylvianne to disclose the seriousness of Joe’s trouble and his imminent confrontation alone. Ben immediately calls for Adam, instructing Hoss to prepare to ride out. Confirming Sylvianne’s connection to Joe, Ben invites her to return with them to Rubicon.

Meanwhile, in Rubicon, Joe is composing a letter. He steps out briefly before returning to his office, where he reads the letter silently. It’s a farewell to his father, acknowledging the dangers of his role as sheriff but affirming his commitment to see it through.

Placing the letter on the table, Joe prepares to leave the office, bracing himself for what lies ahead.

Observing Joe’s departure from town, Brock turns to the two undertakers, expressing satisfaction with their part in the plan and reminding them of their role. With the stagecoach en route to Rubicon, the undertakers position themselves strategically—one near the livery stable and the other on a rooftop.

As the stagecoach arrives, Brock approaches, but Joe, disguised as a passenger, seizes the opportunity to apprehend him. Amidst the chaos, Joe disarms Brock, who pleads for mercy. Unfortunately, a gunshot rings out, hitting Brock and prompting Joe to retaliate against the other assailant.

With the situation under control, Joe calls for medical assistance. The mayor arrives, and Joe identifies the target, Mr. Jennings, and explains the circumstances. Ben and the others finally come, and Sylvianne rushes to Brock’s side as he confesses his misdeeds.

As Brock succumbs to his wound, Joe expresses remorse to Sylvianne. Ben inquires about the task’s difficulty, and Joe admits it was more challenging than expected. Pleased with Joe’s performance, Ben offers support, and Joe assures them he will return home once the regular sheriff resumes duty.

Adam and Hoss apologize for their previous jests, and Joe invites them for coffee at his office, signifying a reconciliation and mutual appreciation among the Cartwright family.

Full Script and Dialogue The Tin Badge


All right, what's the idea?

Just a minute, sonny.

Just a minute? What do you want?

Well, sonny, I
want to talk to you...

about Miss Sylvie Ann.

Miss Sylvie Ann is
none of your business.

Now, you stay away from her.



What happened?

Oh, you're hurt.

Oh, no, I'm all right.

Oh, yeah, I-I guess
I am hurt a little bit.

Well, come on inside.
I'll fix that cut for you.

All right.

- Ooh.
- It's arnica.

Uh, bottled fire, you mean.

You'll give our place
a bad reputation.

What were you fighting about?

I still don't know.

I was walking over to the Palace
when this big buffalo jumped me.

"Stay away from Miss
Sylvie Ann," he said.

Fat chance there
is of that happening.


Little Joe, how many times

do I have to tell you...
I'm not your sort of girl.

Then just what sort
of a girl are you?

Well, I... I'm no Juliet.

You got the whole town
talking about you, my boy.

Yeah? What do you mean?

That fight, my boy.

I... Sylvie Ann...
where are the drinks?

Pop, isn't it a
little early for that?

N-Not for me.
No, sir, not for me.

Oh, um, Mr. Cartwright,
Mr. Brock.

Mr. Brock.

I've heard a lot about you.

You own most of the mining
claims around here, don't you?

And I've heard about you.

Higgler's a real hardcase
and troublemaker.

I had to fire him
from one of my mines.

Everyone was surprised
the way you handled him.

Yeah, I was a little
surprised myself.

You made an impression
on this town, a big one.

Now, we'll have
a small libation.

Just a small libation.

Mr. Mayor, you know,
I think Mr. Cartwright

might be the man to help you.

What's that? Oh,
yes! Yes, indeed.

The very man.

Help you do what?

Please, sit down.

You see, our sheriff,
he had an accident.

He broke his leg. We
had to take him to Reno,

and he'll be gone
for a couple of weeks.

Now, what this town needs
is someone to wear his badge

until he gets back.

Mr. Cartwright, we
think you're just the man.

You want me to wear
a sheriff's badge?

But you can handle yourself,
you proved that today.

That's what the job needs.

Isn't that right, Mayor?

Y-Yes, yes indeed.

Here, you look at
it from the viewpoint

of, of the people who live here.

Who are we gonna
pin that badge on?

Some, some grocery clerk? No!

Now, w-wait a minute.

Now, don't you think this is
an awful lot of responsibility

just to, to hand to someone
as young as myself?

You know what we mean,
don't you, Sylvie Ann?

It's a matter of, um,

of civic responsibility.

Well, I have to admit,

it, it does make sense.

Never argue with a
woman, Mr. Cartwright.

It's awfully hard to argue
with a woman like Sylvie Ann.

Well, Sylvie Ann?

If it's for the good of the
town, I'm on their side.

This job's getting tougher
to turn down every minute.

Then why turn it down?

There's something
I have to do first.

Then you're saying
you're gonna take the job?

I'm saying I'll think about it.

- That's good enough.
- Capital! Capital!

Now, I think we should
have a little drink on that.

I hope you'll see it our way.

Gentlemen, I'll let you
know by tomorrow morning.

I'll see you later.

I'll be here.


Why? Don't you think I
can handle responsibility?

Joe, I'm talking
about a particular

kind of responsibility.

The responsibility
that every man wears

who pins on a badge and works,

and sometimes dies,

making the law
stand for what it does.

But, Pa, I understand that,

but no one, not even this,

this kind of sheriff
you're talking about,

knows how he's gonna work
out until he's given the chance.

But why a sheriff, Joe?


I didn't raise my
sons to... live by a gun.

Now, we all worked hard

to make the
Ponderosa what it is.

I'd always thought that we'd...

all be content and happy

to share in its future.

Pa, it's not that.

I-I'm not deserting
the Ponderosa.

All I want is a chance to
see if I can handle a job

when it's given to me off
the Ponderosa as well as on.

Pa, it's only for a few weeks.

Besides, what could happen
in a little town like Rubicon?

It only takes one
man to break the law.


I wouldn't be honest with you

if I didn't tell you that
I don't like this idea.

Now, perhaps... Well,
maybe it'd be better

if you tell them to
find someone else.

You mean find someone
that's older, don't you, Pa?

Someone's who's not
the baby of the family.

Someone's who's a grown
up man like Hoss or Adam.

Well, I'm tired of
being Little Joe, Pa.

I'm tired of being
the little brother.

I want a chance to do
something by myself.

Joseph, I've never
treated you as a baby.

I'm sorry, Pa. It's not you.

But it is Hoss and it is Adam.

They don't pay any
attention to anything I do.

Everything I try to do
is a big joke to them.

Well, I...

I think I can understand
how you feel, son.

But do you really think that

pinning on a sheriff's badge
is gonna solve that problem?

Ah, Little Joe, we,

we got all that wood
loaded without you.

Oh, you're back from Rubicon
when the work's all finished.

That's pretty good timing.

That's enough
fooling around, boys.

Little Joe here has a
serious decision to make

and I think we all
ought to hear it.

Don't tell me he's gonna marry

that little gal over in Rubicon.

Which one? Aren't there several?

Joe's been offered a job.

What kind of job, Little Joe?

Being the sheriff of Rubicon.


What's everybody in
Rubicon... Gals or something?

At least you can see now
why I have to take the job.


Thank you very much, boys.

You just forced him
into making a decision

that I didn't want him to make.

You mean he really
wants to be a sheriff?

Yes, I'm afraid he does.

Oh, Pa, Little Joe's
just... Little Joe.

He's just a kid.

Is he, Adam?

Or is it that you've been

thinking of him for so long
as being just a little brother

that you've forgotten
that he's growing up.

That he has grown-up feelings...

and grown-up pride.

Well, if he's really
serious about this,

we ought to get in to Rubicon.

He's gonna get in some
trouble he can't handle.

No, Hoss, that's just the point.

Little Joe has got to learn
to handle his own troubles.

I only wish he'd...

hadn't picked such
a hard way to start.

Well... I hope he remembers.

Remembers what?

That he has a family.

That we love him...

and we'd help him
if he... needs help.


Well, Mr. Mayor, what is it?

He's here. That Cartwright kid.

You mean Little Joe?

Then he went for it, didn't he?

Yes, he went for it.

He must sure think a lot of
your daughter, Mr. Mayor.

I hope she thinks
you're worth all this.

I'll be glad when the
whole thing is over.

Come on, you old sot,

fortify yourself
with some courage

to swear in our new sheriff.

Those men you sent for,

when will they get here?

All in good time, Mr. Mayor.

All in good time.

And I further swear that
I will enforce the laws

of this town and my country.

To the very best of my
ability. So help me, God.

To the very best of my ability.

So help me, God.

Congratulations and,
and thanks, Sheriff.

Well, Mayor?

Oh, yes. Congratulations.

Is that all there is to it?

It's a simple act, Cartwright.

All it takes is a good man.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Uh, the city, uh, charter.

The law requires
the sheriff to read it.

I guess I better learn the
laws I'm supposed to enforce.

Now, don't go expecting
too much excitement

in our little town, Sheriff.

And if you get tired of reading,

you know where
the Royal Palace is.

Good luck.

Thank you, Mayor.

Ab, I'm not sure about that kid.

He seemed pretty
serious about this thing.

You worry too much, George.

Well, I have reason to.

And the, the others...

The time is getting close
and they're not even here yet.

Yes, they are,
George, yes, they are.

32, at the end of the hall.

Who are the two undertakers?

I don't know, just
some strangers.

So you decided to take the job.

That's right.

That's getting to see
you the hard way, isn't it?

Is that the only reason
you took the job?

No, it's, it's not
the only reason,

but I think you're
a pretty good one.

Oh, that reminds me, I, I
wrote something down for you.

Well, what's the
matter, don't you like it?

The city charter of Rubicon?

Hmm? Oh, oh, no, I
gave you the wrong paper.

Oh, there.

"But, soft! What light through
yonder window breaks?

"It is the east, and
Juliet is the sun.

"Arise, fair sun, and
kill the envious moon,

"Who is already sick
and pale with grief

That thou, her maid, art
far more fair than she."

Well, that's beautiful.

Do you know what it's from?

Romeo and Juliet.

Of course I'm, uh,
I'm not exactly Romeo.

Hey, what's going on here?

The duties of the job aren't
too demanding, are they, Sheriff?

To be quite frank with you,

I'm not exactly sure
what my duties are yet.

Well, don't let me
chase you away.

Fred, let me have a cup
of coffee, will you, please?

I guess it is about time I
show the citizens of Rubicon

what their new
sheriff looks like.

I'll see you later.

Bye-bye, Joe.

Ab... why are you doing this?

Oh, honey, why worry about it?

Why did you have Sheriff
Cleaver sent out of town?

Because he's a
hard-nosed old man

with 35 years' experience
wearing a badge and using a gun.

And Little Joe?

Just a romantic kid.

With no experience?

That's right.

Even if he blunders
into my plan,

he'll hesitate at
that crucial second.

By the time he figures out
what to do, it'll be too late.

Will you please tell me what's
going to happen and when?

How long has it
been, Sylvie Ann,

since we first met?

Five years, three
months, and two days.

And you've been patient, honey,

and now we almost have it.

Ab, I would have married you

five years ago without a cent.

I know, but marriage
without money is no good,

and now we can have both.

In just a few days we'll
be, we'll be on our way

with the whole
world in front of us.

But I don't want
the whole world.

I just want you.

Hey, about yesterday,
no hard feelings.

Get lost, Sheriff.

Now, look, I'm only
trying to be friendly.

Now, you look.

Don't you try to play
sheriff with me, sonny boy.

You run along home
and play with your toys.

Wait a minute, I was just try...

All right, sonny boy.

Come try.

Now, why don't you
just give up, sonny boy?

Hold it.

You're not going
anywhere just yet.

Don't make me use it.

Take your gun out nice and easy

and throw it in front of you.

All right, I'm taking you in.

What's wrong?

You sore because you got a
little bit of your own medicine?


I've been beat up before.

I just want to find out why
you didn't nail me the first time.

What's the charge?

For a starter,

assaulting an
officer of the law.

Over by the cell.

Get inside.

You can't keep me here.

I can and I will till you
answer some questions.

Like what?

Like who hired you
to lose that fight.

Well, now, I can't answer
a question like that.

You're going to have to if
you want to get out of that cell.

You know, I never met the
man I couldn't whip with these.

But they're no
good against bullets.

Give me the answers I want

and I'll make sure you
get safely out of town.

Who's the man that hired you?

You don't expect
me to answer that.

Men you're afraid of won't
know whether you did or not.

They're not gonna be
able to take any chances

with you behind bars.

They know I won't talk.

Yeah, sure, they
will for a day or two.

What's going to happen then?

They're not gonna be
able to take any chances.

They're gonna
come for you, Higgler.

You don't have much choice.

I got one choice here, boy.

You're gonna have
to beat it out of me

if you think you can.

Joe, I heard about it.

Oh, look at your face.

All right, never mind that.

Let's talk.

Yesterday I was a big man.

I whipped the town bully
and didn't even mess my hair.

Today I couldn't
have whipped Higgler

with one hand tied
behind his back.

And you know what that means?

No, I don't.

It means this whole
thing was a setup,

and I walked into
it like a fool kid.

Oh, Joe, don't say that.

Why not?

It's the truth, isn't it?

And you're in on it, too,
aren't you, Sylvie Ann?

Well, aren't you?


Joe, believe me, I don't
know anything about this.

You and Brock talked
me into taking this job.

They couldn't even wait
a day or two, could they?

Joe, maybe you shouldn't
have taken this job.

All right, move on,
the excitement's over.

Now, what do you
know about this?

What's going to happen?

I don't know what's
going to happen.

I just don't want you
to get caught in it.

An hour ago you were
tickled pink I took this job.

All right, I changed my mind.

Now, take off that tin badge

and quit trying
to play grown-up.

You're just a kid.

Can't you understand that?

There are some
things you just can't do.

Thanks, now you
sound like my family.

Then go home, Joe,
where you belong.

Whatever is wrong
here is not your concern.

This badge makes it my concern.

This town gave me a
job, I'm going to finish it.

And what'll you do the next
time you run into another Higgler...

Read him some poetry,

something out of
Romeo and Juliet?

You're just stupid.

Is that head of yours
filled with muscle?

Why didn't you stay out
of town like I told you?

I was getting out
of town, Mr. Brock.

I just stopped for one drink.

One drink... and you
ended up in the sheriff's jail?

What did you tell him?

I didn't tell him anything.

I swear it, Mr. Brock.

I don't like this, Ab,
I don't like it at all.

You said it'd be simple;
now it's getting complicated.

Just shut up!

Now, you just get
him out of town,

and you put him on the road.

You mean under
the road, don't you?

No, you let him go.

I don't want any more, as
my friend the mayor puts it.

Complications! Now,
you just get out of here!

Pop, what's going on up there?

Nothing. Nothing, my dear.

- You leave it be.
- Leave it be?

How can I? I just saw Higgler

with one of those strangers.

- Pop, how'd he get out of jail?
- Now, I told you before,

leave it alone.

The less you know,
the better off you'll be.

All right. If you won't
tell me, I'll go ask Ab.

No, no. Please don't do that.

I don't want you
involved in any of this.

Aren't you my father?

Aren't I already involved?

You looking for
something, Mayor?

Oh. Sheriff.

Uh, just in time
for a little drink.

No, no, thanks, no drink.

I just have some questions
that need answers.

Answers? Answers?

They're all in the
city charter, my boy.

No, not these answers, Mayor.

They didn't bother
to write these down.

But I think you
could give me a few.

Well, let's not just stand here

like ordinary citizens.

After all, we're city officials.

Uh, let's go over
there in the alcove

and have a little talk, hmm?

That's just what I want to
have, Mayor, a little talk.


Sylvie Ann, can't you see
that I'm busy with my associate

from San Francisco?

I understand, Mr. Brock.

A gentleman never
keeps a lady waiting.

All right, but I want to go over
our business arrangements again.

I'll be just down
the hall, Mr. Brock.

All right, what is
it that can't wait?

Ab, what's going on?
Who are these men?

- What do they want here?
- I haven't got time

to answer a lot
of silly questions.

Well, Joe Cartwright
is asking me questions,

and they're questions
I can't answer.

He wants to know about Higgler,

and about how
he got to be sheriff.

What'd you tell him?

What could I tell
him? I don't know.

That's right.

And what you don't know
you don't worry about.

But Joe's right.

You did set Higgler
up for him, didn't you?

I just saw him now in the
lobby with one of those...

- those undertakers.
- All I did was send him out of town.

You really enjoy looking
for trouble, don't you?

Tomorrow, everything
out there can belong to me.

But there's one
man who can ruin it.

He's coming to Rubicon
tomorrow on the stage.

Is that the man that's gonna buy

the options on
your mining claims?

He knows me from somewhere else?

Under a different
name and, uh...

different reputation.

Ab, I don't know what
you're talking about.

The minute he
steps off that stage

there's gonna be an accident.


Well, because he can
blow my scheme sky-high

the minute he sees me.

I didn't even know he was
with that mining syndicate

till they telegraphed me.

He's got to die.

But that's murder!

Of course it's murder.

Men murder other men
every day in the week

for small, petty reasons.

Well, this is gonna
be for a big reason.

For us and our future.

But, Ab, I don't
want it that way.

I won't let you do it!

What are you gonna
do, go to the authorities?

To your father, the mayor, or
maybe to our new young sheriff?

Listen, he may be young,
but he believes in that badge.

Well, if he lifts
one little finger,

he's gonna be our
young but dead sheriff.

No, Ab, please!

Sylvie Ann, you've waited
five long years, same as me.

But I don't want it
like this, not this way!

Well, what do you want, you
want that cheap bar downstairs?

You want to be stuck in
this town the rest of your life?

Now, listen to me, it is
all arranged and paid for,

no connection with me at all.

It's gonna look like
a robbery attempt

on that stage that failed.

Oh, that's why you sent
for those two men, I knew it!

I smelled death on them.

Everywhere they
go, they reek of it.

That's right. That's their job.

Honey, I thought you loved me.

Oh... I do love you.

Then trust me, Sylvie Ann.

You won't regret it.

And what about Little Joe?

He's only a boy, Ab.

Well, you just keep him occupied
till after that stage comes in.

Nothing's gonna happen to him.

That's... several hours.

Yeah, I guess it is.

Ab... please tell
me you love me.

You know I love you.

Don't you ever forget it.

Don't worry, Sylvie Ann,
he didn't tell me anything.

No, he escapes
pretty fast in that bottle.

So that leaves you.

Yes, I guess it does.

Do you want to ask
me any more questions?

For a starter, where's Brock?

I guess I know where he is.

Joe, wait.



You know where he
went... Where is he?

Little Joe, I've
got to talk to you.

Well, that's very funny.

All of a sudden, you
have to talk to me, huh?

Look, what I said before
to you, I-I was angry.

"In anger truth will out."
I read that somewhere,

and not in Romeo and Juliet.

I tried to tell you
I was no Juliet.

All right, we've been through
this all before, haven't we?

All I want now are some answers.

You're Brock's girl, right?

You've always been his girl.

Oh... you had to
find that out someday.

And that's why you
went along with this...

this cheap trick of
making me the sheriff,

why you got me to
pin this badge on.

Yes, because my man asked me to,

and because I would do anything
that my man asked me to do.

With one exception, Little Joe.


So that's it, huh?

All right, when is it gonna be?

Tomorrow, sunup... on the stage.

They're gonna try to kill
one of the passengers.

I don't know who.

The two undertakers we saw,

Brock hired them,
too, didn't he?


Two against one;
he likes a sure thing.

Now you want me
to stop it, is that it?

I wish you could.

But pinning on a badge
and strapping on a gun

will never make a
gunfighter out of you.

Oh, so that's the real reason
for giving me the job, huh?


They wanted a boy
for a sheriff, not a man.

But you are a man,
Joe, a very good man.

But you can't do it alone.

I think my family
might agree with you.

Want to know the real
reason why I took this job?

Oh, granted, you
were... you were part of it.

The real reason was...

for the first time in my life

somebody outside the
family offered me a job with...

with responsibility.

It was a chance to prove myself
to my father and my brothers.

Well, look at me now.

Wait a minute.

Your father and your brothers.

With their help, there'd
be enough of you

to stop this whole thing.

Well, Joe, you can't do
anything about it all by yourself.

I can try.

You wouldn't stand a chance.

That's the way it was
planned, wasn't it?

Well, don't you
worry, Sylvie Ann...

when the stage
comes in tomorrow,

I'll be there to meet it.

Joe, wait.

You do understand, don't you?

I mean, about Brock and me.

No, I-I don't understand.

Not you and Brock.

Not a girl like you.



Sure thing, Sheriff.

Sylvie Ann.

Where you going
this time of night?

Like you told me, what you
don't know won't hurt you.

It's too late to worry
about me now, Pop.

Well, that ought to
hold you for a while.

And she wouldn't tell
me where she was going.

Now, I'm asking you
to get up and find her.

She's a big girl, Mayor.

I'm sure she's been
out alone at night before.

You mean to tell me you're
gonna lie there and do nothing?

Look, I'm the sheriff
here, not her father.

I should've known better than
to swear in a boy for a sheriff.


They wanted a boy?

All right, I'll give 'em one.

You think somebody
stole your horse?

Well, n-no, no, I-I didn't
say they stole my horse.

I just said it disappeared
out of the barn.

Well, I'm sorry to
hear that, Sheriff.

- Maybe the mayor...
- Mr. Brock, now, that's

what I wanted to talk
to you about, Mr. Brock.

About my being sheriff.

What do you want to talk about?

Well, see, in the beginning,

the whole idea about
being sheriff and everything,

you see, that all
appealed to me.

I-I don't know, I... I think
I'm too young or something.

I-I think it's too
big a job for me.

All right, we're satisfied
with the job you're doing.

You're doing just fine.

Isn't that right, Mayor?

Sure, fine.

Yeah, but am I
really, Mr. Brock?

Now, look, f-first thing, I
arrest that bully, Higgler,

and then I lose him.

And earlier this evening,
I'm talking to Sylvie Ann,

and now she's disappeared.

And... and to top it all off,

I-I can't even find my horse.

Well, it's just that you're
kind of new at the job.

You haven't had much
experience sheriffing,

but, uh, you'll get
better as you go on.

I-I just don't think so.

Sure you will.

There's only, uh,
one thing, though.

Yeah, what's-what's that?

Well, it's Sylvie Ann.

I, um... I think you
should go look for her.

Yeah, but how can I?

I-I don't even know
where she went.

Well, the, um... the mayor's
kind of worried about her.

Would you look for her, Sheriff?

Without a horse?

Listen, Cartwright, I happen
to own a livery stable here,

and it's just full of horses.

If they haven't all been stolen
by now, you can have your pick.

Hey, thanks, Mr. Brock. Yeah.

I'll get started in the morning.

In the morning?

Well, that's hours from now.

You-you better
start at once, Sheriff.

Oh, in-in the dark?

Well, I think it gets
light about 5:00.

You should find your
way around by then.

Oh, 5:00.

Well, I-I better get
my stuff together.


Oh, yeah, my-my, uh...
my guns, my handcuffs...

Oh, of course.

My warrants.

Well, good luck, Sheriff.

Well, thanks, Mr. Brock.

I'm-I'm gonna
make it all up to you.

That kid couldn't find a
needle in a pincushion.

- I tell you, Brock...
- All right, Mayor, all right.

I just want him out of town.

He's liable to get himself
killed hanging around here.

And I want this clean,
and I want it simple.

What about Sylvie Ann?
Where has she gone?

Will you get a hold on yourself?

She's a woman, isn't she?

She's worried
about this business.

She doesn't want
to see it happen.

She'll be back
when it's all over.

getting all mixed up.

Maybe we could call it off, huh?

We can't call it off.

Do you understand that?

And stop worrying
about Sylvie Ann.

I told you, she'll be back.

She loves me.

Mr. Cartwright?

Mr. Cartwright...?

Well. You all
right? Are you hurt?

Yes, I... I'm all right.

Is this the Ponderosa?

Well, yes'm, it is.

What are you doing
with Little Joe's horse?

I've got to talk
to Mr. Cartwright.

I best get you in the house.


Hey, Pa, come down here quick!

What is it, Hoss?

Pa, this-this little gal came
riding in on Little Joe's horse.

Get some brandy.

What's this about you
riding in on my son's horse?

Well, I... I thought
if I rode his horse,

you'd believe me.

Believe what?

Who are you? Where are you from?

My name is Sylvie Ann.


My father owns the
Palace Hotel in Rubicon,

and I work there.

You didn't ride all the way
from Rubicon to tell me that.

What's happened to Little Joe?

Well, nothing yet,

but something's going
to unless he gets help.

What kind of trouble is he in?

Mr. Cartwright, you
brought him up too well.

You-you taught him
about responsibility.

What kind of trouble is he in?

He's in serious trouble.

In a few hours, he's gonna
be facing up to it all alone.

Facing up to what?

Two hired killers.

Get Adam.

Hey, Adam?

Adam! Come down
here right quick.

You're the girl Joseph has
been seeing in Rubicon?

I'm the girl.

Not quite the right kind of girl
for him, am I, Mr. Cartwright?

You're a pretty
girl, Sylvie Ann.

The important thing is to
get help to Joseph right now.

Doesn't anybody ever
go to bed around here?

Oh, why didn't you
say we had company?

It's-it's Joe. He-He's
in trouble in Rubicon.

Saddle up the
horses. It's a long ride.

Will you be able
to ride with us?

I can try.


"And so Dad, I realize now

"it's awfully tough to
face responsibility alone,

"but I've made up my
mind to see it through.

"If something goes wrong,
I know you'll understand.


Gentlemen, it
worked like a charm.

The rest is up to you.

That's what we
been paid for, isn't it?

Now, remember, it's the
man I shake hands with.

Hyah! Hyah!

Hyah! Come on!


Hyah! Hyah!


Whoa! Whoa!

Put up your hands.

Throw down that shotgun.

All right, everybody out.

Drop it!

Don't shoot!

Somebody get a doctor.

Mr. Jennings?

You know this man?

His name is Brock.

His name isn't Brock.

It's Winslow. John Winslow.

I saw him commit murder
in St. Louis six years ago.

Ab. Oh, Ab.

I tried to stop
it for your sake.

Poor Sylvie Ann.

Always the worrier.

Looks like you were
six years too late.

I don't understand.

Jennings can tell you.

That's why I was meeting you...

To wipe you and
that memory out of...

out of the world.

A world that was almost mine.

Take it easy. I've
sent for a doctor.

A doctor?

Aren't you going to use that...

tin badge of yours?

Aren't you gonna... arrest me?

I made a... big
mistake, picking you.

I'm sorry, Sylvie Ann.

Oh, Ab.

Come along, my dear.

Oh, Ab. Oh.

Tough job, son?

It was a lot tougher
than I thought it would be.

Well, I didn't think you'd mind
if we came to pay you a visit.

Thanks. It gets a little
lonely in a strange town.

Looks like you did a real
good job, Little Brother.

You coming home with us?

Soon as the regular
sheriff gets back.

Want us to hang around?

Why? So you can make
some more jokes about me?

Sorry. Never again.

That's for dang
sure, Little Brother.

Well, look, uh, why don't
you come over to my office

and have a cup of coffee?

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Bonanza provides family-friendly entertainment suitable for both individual viewing and group gatherings. “The Tin Badge” marks the 79th episode in the series’ extensive run of 430 episodes. Produced by NBC, Bonanza graced their network from September 1959 to January 1973, delighting audiences throughout 14 seasons.

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